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#8: Implantable RFID

In 2007 there was a lot of argument about putting RFID tags into Australian passports, and many people were saying we were destined for a future where everyone was implanted with RFID so they could be tracked by the government and large corporations. I wanted to understand the technology and the risks involved, so I did the only logical thing: I implanted an RFID chip in myself!

I’ve shown use of my implanted RFID chip in previous SuperHouseTV episodes, but this is the first time I’ve shown the footage of me actually implanting the chip in myself.

View on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv_OG7zG7ro

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#7: Control door locks with RFID and Arduino

Now that I’ve modified the Lockwood Nexion door lock on my workshop for Arduino control, the next step is to add an RFID reader near the door so that I can scan the RFID chip implanted in my arm to unlock the door.

Note that I deliberately did not go into any detail of the RFID implantation in this episode, so it’s safe to watch even if you don’t want to see me doing home surgery on myself! I’ll cover that in a separate episode so anyone who doesn’t want to see it can avoid it.

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#6: Electronic door locks

Door locks are one of the most useful things to control from your home automation system. Using electronic locks you can give your house central locking just like your car, control them from your phone or via the Internet, or even control them using an RFID tag or implant.

I modified a Lockwood Nexion keyless lock to allow it to be controlled by an Arduino, and linked it to my home automation system.

View on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqEcJO0UafA

“EtherMega” (Arduino Mega with onboard Ethernet) mentioned in the video

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#5: Installing conduit under an existing footpath

Electrical conduit allows you to run cables outside, underground, and in other nasty places. Sometimes though you have to get cable into places that look impossible, such as under an existing concrete path or driveway that you can’t rip up. It’s not as hard as you may think. I used a technique called “water boring” to install a conduit under a concrete footpath in just a few minutes, without having to dig up the path.

View on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rXFU59D1uE

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Setting an Arduino Ethernet MAC address automatically

One of the little time-saving tricks I use in my home automation system is setting the Ethernet MAC address automatically on each device. This saves having to set the address manually in the sketch of every device.

I’ve written it up in a tutorial on the Freetronics site:

Setting Arduino Ethernet MAC addresses manually and automatically

Enjoy!

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#4: Making home automation gear quietly

I’ve found that the second-hand Ethernet switches I use in my home automation system have annoyingly loud fans, so I modified them to run the fans more slowly and connect to my Arduino-based environmental monitoring system.

Links for this episode:

Discuss this episode in the forum: forum.freetronics.com/viewforum.php?f=30

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#3: Power-over-Ethernet for Arduino home automation

I’m using Ethernet extensively in my Arduino home automation system for communication with devices distributed around the house, so being able to also provide power to those devices over the same network cable is a big time saver. Until now I’ve been using a “DIY” approach to Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) with midspan injectors sending about 10-12V down the wire, but I’m now converting it all over to use Netgear switches with 802.3af (48V) PoE support built in.

This episode covers some of the options for PoE with Arduino, and demonstrates how you can do it both in a cheap DIY method and using commercial PoE switches.

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#2: Arduino-controlled home automation switchboard

The automation switchboards in my house have Ethernet interfaces thanks to an EtherTen (just like an Arduino Uno, but with built-in Ethernet and PoE) mounted inside. This episode shows the switchboard internals, including how the EtherTens switch output loads around the house. It also shows the termination of the house network that starts out as a bit of a mess, but is much neater by the end of the video.

Links for this ep: